Australian Grand Prix Qualifying Liveblog

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Greetings!  In about 45 minutes’ time, I’m going to start liveblogging the FIRST qualifying session of the 2009 Formula One season.  This is also CTTR’s ONE HUNDREDTH post–I’ll make it good!

A few points from the practice sessions:

  • Lewis is nowhere; Heikki, with the experience from Renault in 2007, is doing rather well in a dog of a car.
  • Red Bull: Webber’s quick; Vettel’s quicker but goes off track rather frequently.
  • Ferrari.  Not many laps in FP3, but Kimi can always be counted on for some excitement.
  • Force India may be looking at a point this weekend–kudos to them for turning out a great car on a miniscule budget.
  • Brawn, Toyota, Williams are all mega-quick.
  • Renault are in for a serious keister kicking.
  • Toro Rosso is nowhere.  Not even a whisper of potential results.
  • And finally……
  • Rosberg has topped all three practices but will lose.  Why?  Because I say so.

I will see you in forty minutes for the race!

Alrighty–it’s three minutes til the start of the session.

Hamilton’s getting in–BBC guys don’t think he’s going to do very well.  Duh.

Q1 starts!

18:40 to go:  Fisichella out.  Rosberg out.  Buemi out.

BBC guys wax lyrical over Rosberg.  Seriously, guys?  Rosberg?!?!

Big deal over Mercedes engines in the Force India.

Fisi sets the first time–1:28.8.

15:43 to go: Rosberg sets a 1:27.8.  Quick.

Massa goes second.  Sutil goes QUICKER than Massa.

Gratuitous shot of Vitantonio Liuzzi looking ticked off.

14:10:  Rosberg has a “moment”.  Goes .75 seconds quicker.

Buemi goes to P2.

Nakajima: 1:26.7!

Quote from a chatroom: “NIPPON BANZAI”

Raikkonen to third after losing the 3rd practice and his qualifying simulation–well done Kimi!

12:00:  Kimi goes P1!  1:26.615!

Barrichello to P4.

Webber to P3 with a 1:26.7.

Alonso to P1–1:26.47.  Where did THAT come from?!?!?!

Massa all over–off the track and more.

Barrichello to P1–1:26.2.  Looking VERY smooth and fast.

9:30 to go.

Hamilton to P2–1:26.454!  Woooooow.

Button to P2–1:26.5.

Barrichello QUICKER–1:25.8.  Amazing.

Rosberg to P2.  Glock out and looking good.

7:40 to go.

Bourdais to P12–nice lap.

Massa is 17th, nowhere.

Heidfeld does a 1:26.7–good for 11th.

Piquet is 19th and absolutely screwed.

Quote from chat:  “Piquet needs to go to the toilet and remove the **** from the car”

Kubica 6th.  Massa on a hot lap with 4:20 to go.

Massa 2nd, 1:25.84.

Kimi going fast–two tenths quicker than Button at S2.

Kimi to P4 with a grass-mowing lap.

Trulli has a car problem and is stuck in last–can’t get out.  Huge blow considering they’ve been quick all weekend.

Local boy Webber is looking good for the top three, maybe even P1 with 1:30 to go.

P1–1:25.4!  Brilliant lap by Webber.  Hamilton to 10th.

Vettel to 6th.  Trulli is OUT.  Quali master at work.

Clock ends.

Buemi to 15th.  Kovalainen to 8th!

Fisi to 18th.

Alonso is 15th–he comes across the line….and sets a time good enough for NINTH.  Good job.

Kubica to 8th.

Buemi, Piquet, Fisi, Sutil, Bourdais are out.

Button to P1, 1:25.2, Barrichello to P1 with a 1:25.0!

P16: Buemi

P17: Piquet

P18: Fisichella

P19:  Sutil

P20:  Bourdais

Q2 will resume in five minutes.

Q2 is go!  Fifteen minute session to follow.

Kimi is first out with 13:50 to go.

Kimi begins his lap.

12:15 to go.

Kimi’s using a LOT of KERS–I really like the new graphic.

Some sort of news about Lewis according to the BBC guys.

Kimi goes 1st, 1:23.3.

10:45 to go.

LEWIS HAS A PROBLEM AND IS OUT!

Holy cow, this is unexpected–some sort of drivetrain issue.  Driveshaft, perhaps?

Glock to P1, 1:25.281.

9:20 to go.

Button to P1, 1:25.205.

8:55 to go.

Webber to P2 with a 1:25.241.

Vettel to P1!  1:25.121.

Rosberg to P2–1:25.123.

0.002 time difference–this is intense!

6:20 to go.

Heidfeld–P11.  Not good enough, dude!

Kubica to P3.  Excellent lap.

3:40 to go.

Kovalainen to P14.  Out for another lap–he’s gotta make this one count.

Button and Barrichello out for another hotlap each.

Massa is 8th and pushing hard.

Massa stays 8th.

Barrichello to P1, Button to P2.

Both in the 1:24s!!!!!!!

Heidfeld to tenth, Nakajima on a last ditch attempt.

He goes to 12th.  Not enough.

Trulli to 7th!

So, out:

11th:  Heidfeld

12th: Alonso

13th: Nakajima

14th: Kovalainen

15th:  Hamilton

And Q3 will return in another five minutes!  As the BBC feed completely dies and returns.

Q3 begins.

9:30 to go and nobody’s out.

Kimi is out, as is one of the Brawn cars.

Vettel being told that the Red Bull is understeery on heavy fuel.

Button on soft tires.  Smooth, seriously smooth.  We’ll have to see which Brawn is quicker.

7:20 to go.

6:40 to go–Button sets a 1:26.600.

Barrichello goes P2 with a 1:27.161.

Rosberg, 1:28.1.

Raikkonen to P4, behind all the other cars.

Trulli to P4, 1:28.464.

Massa 6th with a 1:29.

5:00 to go.

Kubica to P4. 1:27.9.

Webber to P3.

Vettel to P4.

Trulli stays 8th.

Kimi 9th, Massa 10th.

3:50 to go; Button and Barrichello in the garage.

EVERYBODY in the pits–one lap’s worth of time and we’ll know who’s on pole.

Webber and Vettel stack in the pits.  Traffic jam.

Button out.  Massa in; he was complaining of a puncture, but the team says the tires are fine.  Whiner.

Barrichello looking good for perhaps a pole.

.5 quickest in the first sector.

Good job in S2.

And comes across the line in….1:26.505.  Pole at the moment.

Glock comes across and….P3.  And immediately to P5.

Webber to 6th.  Button comes across…and….1:26.292!  POLE!

Vettel comes across in….1:26.83.  3rd.

Massa to P7.

Onboard with Button:  “YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Careful Jense, don’t explode….that’d be messy inside the helmet…

Soooooo…..

P1. Button

P2. Barrichello

P3. Vettel

P4. Kubica

P5. Rosberg

P6. Glock

P7. Massa

P8. Trulli

P9. Raikkonen

P10. Webber(!)

So Brawn 1-2.  History in the making.  I’m going to head for bed(it’s 2:03 AM here) and will see you tomorrow for the race!

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